I should’ve posted about our trip to Istanbul back in July, but since I wasn’t blogging back then I thought I’d write this post now.
Last July, we (my family) went to Istanbul for a week, which was, of course, extremely fun (extra fun when you have four siblings).
Day 1 (Tuesday):
Our flight was late at night so we arrived at Istanbul at about early in the morning. We went directly to my dad’s friends’s empty apartment (at about 4:30) in which we all slept for a few hours (we were oh-so-tired)!
When we woke up we had breakfast and visited Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, walked along the Wall of Constantinople and went to the apartment we had rented for our stay near the Fatih Mosque.
We then rested for a while, dad and I went out to buy some stuff from a nearby bazaar, we also went to a small bookstore.
In the evening, we went to Fatih Mosque.
We then went to Eyup Sultan Mosque and prayed Maghrib there.
There’re a road near the mosque, you climb uphill near a cemetery. The view is spectacular! It is over-seeing Golden Horn. Going down the hill, we took chairlifts. We then took a bus and were done for the day.
Day 2 (Wednesday):
We woke up to the Fatih Bazaar on our street (and every other street in the area). It was HUGE (we shopped for a few hours and still didn’t cover the whole thing).
After that we went to Istanbul Sea life Aquarium.
Our trip coincided with the military coup, so after that we went to the front of the city hall of the city where a protest was held against the military coup in which millions of people participated.
We then spent the evening at the Fatih Masjid.
Day 3 (Thursday):
We took a 90 min (or so) boat trip from Eminonu to Büyükada (largest of the nine Prince Islands). No cars are allowed on the island, so people get by on horse carriages and bikes. We bought some cute head flowers and souvenirs, ate ice cream, walked around and had lunch. We spent all day on the beautiful island then returned to the city, roller bladed at the Fatih Mosque at night.
Day 4 (Friday):
We went to the Panorama in which you learn all about Sultan Muhammad Al-Fatih and the story of conquering Istanbul (Constantinople back then).
The wall in the back of the photo on top is the Constantine Wall. Here’s the real thing:
And we went to Topkapi which was one of the major residences of the Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years. The amount of detail in everything the Ottomans did is breathtaking. In the palace, we also got to see some of the belongings of some prophets (including the sword of Prophet Muhamad PBUH).
And we had lunch in a beautiful park near the palace.
Day 5 (Saturday):
We went to… (drum roll)… Aya Sophia! It is -duh!- beautiful. It was built as a Christian church, but the Ottomans turned it into a mosque. You can see both Islamic and Christian symbols in it.
We also visited the tombs of the Ottoman sultans (A few stunning buildings, they’re near the Aya Sophia)
Istanbul Archaeological Museum
We went to the top of the Galata Tower. The view from up there is stupendous!
We then visited the Blue Mosque (my second favorite mosque, Fatih comes first)
We had lunch at another beautiful park and spent another evening at the Fatih Mosque.
Day 6 (Sunday):
We went to a small bazaar near the Grand Bazaar (The Grand Bazaar closes on Sundays)
We then went to the Istanbul Dolphinarium
After that, we went ice skating (we apparently forgot to take photos while skating, only a video I guess we were so happy we forgot to)
And we spent another night at the Fatih Masjid
Day 7 (Monday):
Grand Bazaar. It’s one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily.
Nuruosmaniye Camii Mosque
Laleli Camii Mosque
Then, Mom and the kids went shopping while Yaman (my youngest brother, 7 years old), dad and I went to the apartment.
In the evening, dad and my brothers went to a Turkish hammam (thinking of it grosses me out, but anyways) while we went out to eat some yummy sweets.
Day Seven (Tuesday):
We woke up early, and left to the airport directly.
Oh, and did I mention.. flags are everywhere, everywhere, which is really nice.
That was what our trip looked like, have you visited Istanbul? Did you fall in love with the city like I did? Istanbul is such a beautiful city, I’d definitely visit it again and again and again.